Ohio Air National Guard Members Assist After Fatal Crash

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Beth Holliker
  • Public Afairs
"When called, we respond with ready units to execute Federal, State and Community Missions." The official mission statement of the Ohio National Guard and a phrase that members of the Ohio Army and Air National Guard strive to live by. In the early evening hours of May 11, 2012, three Air National Guard members proved their readiness and responded even without being called.

Tech. Sgt Jason Mims, a production recruiter at the 180th Fighter Wing and lead guitarist of his civilian band, "Stirred Not Shaken," along with drummer, Master Sgt. Jesse Ellis, a munitions systems specialist with the 180th and Master Sgt. Scott Waddle, who recently retired from the Air National Guard as a production recruiter were in the middle of practice at the NCO club just outside the gates of the 180th Fighter Wing in Swanton, Ohio when they heard the sounds of a car horn and a crash almost instantly. After a quick look out of the window to confirm the sounds, the three Airmen and other civilian members of the band jumped into action.

"It wasn't a decision that was made," explained Mims. "It was an instinct to try to help."

As the 180th members and other first responders reached the scene, Waddle began traffic control as Mims extinguished fires and Ellis assessed injuries and damage while another first responder called 9-1-1.

Ellis determined that one of the motorists, Gregory Brenneman of Monclova Township, was conscious, stable and appeared to have suffered only minor cuts and bruises, but was trapped inside his vehicle. Ellis assigned another bystander to remain with Brenneman until emergency crews arrived.

The second motorist, Robert Ulrick of Grand Rapids, Ohio and son of retired 180th Fighter Wing Fire Chief, Dave Ulrick, was not conscious and did not have a detectable pulse. At the direction of the 9-1-1 operator, Mims and Ellis extracted Ulrick from his car and carried him to a safe location where Ellis began performing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation until emergency services arrived.

Ellis agreed that there was no decision making that took place; describing that "it was an instant, initial reaction that I took as soon as I witnessed what had just occurred."

Despite the extraordinary efforts of first responders and emergency crews, Ulrick was pronounced dead at the scene. Brenneman was considered to be in critical condition and airlifted to Toledo Hospital for treatment.

"Our 180th Fighter Wing Airmen are incredible Americans who serve at work, at home and in their communities," said Col. Steve Nordhaus, 180th Fighter Wing commander. Their dedication to each other through our Wingman program and combat skill sets learned through military training make our Airmen ready to assist in war and peace, anywhere they are called or any situation they happen to come upon."

The Air National Guard strives to ensure it produces the best and most highly trained personnel in the world, with a personal and professional readiness to respond to any situation, anytime, anywhere. Airmen continuously train and practice skills not only related to their specific job, but other lifesaving skills such as Self Aid and Buddy Care.

SABC training combination of hands-on and computer based training intended to provide basic first aid training to preserve life, limb and eyesight of fellow Airmen while preventing long term disabilities and enable wounded to survive until additional medical care is received. This training is required by all AF personnel every 24 months as a minimum.

"Jason and Jesse utilized their self aid and buddy care training without hesitation," said Waddle. "Their training was evident as they triaged and performed first aid and CPR until the paramedics arrived."

With their extensive training combined with the Air Force's core values, Wingman concept, Waddle, Ellis and Mims proved their preparedness and readiness to respond both on and off duty.

"We are committed to building and maintaining positive relationships with the communities surrounding the 180th Fighter Wing, as we are members of these communities," said Master Sgt. Elizabeth Holliker, who is assigned to the 180th Fighter Wing office of public affairs. "Our members and their families are a major part of each community and we have a vested interest in the health of these communities and community members because we also live and work in these communities."
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